Cheick Tiote has passed away.

Chinese Super League

The energetic midfielder moved to China and Beijing Enterprises prior to this season from Newcastle United, but has now sadly passed away at the age of 30.

According to reports from China, the Ivory Coast midfielder had a heart attack during training and was rushed to the hospital where he was later declared deceased. The club announced the news on their official Weibo channel after a little over an hour with only rumours of the event circulating on social media.

According to Sky Sports Tiote’s representative Emanuele Palladino said: “It is with deep sadness that I confirm that my client Cheick Tiote sadly passed away earlier today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises.

“We cannot say any more at the moment and we request that his family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time.”

“We ask for all your prayers.”

Former Newcastle teammate, now Besiktas-player, Demba Ba has also reacted to the news, writing on Twitter: “May Allah gives grant you jannah brother Tiote”. Jannah is the concept of paradise in the Islamic faith.

Cheick Ismaël Tioté spent seven years at Tyneside playing for Newcastle in the Premier League before the move to China in February this year.

He turned out 10 times for League One club Beijing Enterprises, who sit in second to last place.

Prior to his years in England, he had spent several successful years in the Netherlands and Belgium at Anderlecht, Roda and Twente and becoming a very popular figure at the clubs with the fans taking to his hard-hitting style.

In England, Tioté turned out 156 times for Newcastle over the course of his seven seasons there and although he was a somewhat hard tackling midfielder, who sometimes played at the edge of the rules, the fans liked him. Although he did decline dramatically over the last 18 months of his stay in Northern England, he only turned out once last season before moving to China.

The Newcastle fans will however fondly remember him for the equalizing goal in the 4-4 draw against Arsenal in his first season at the St. James Park, where he scored an amazing goal just three minutes from the end. His only goal for the club.

For his national team, he turned out 52 times between 2009 and 2015, including taking part in two World Cups, 2010 in South Africa and 2014 in Brazil.

Tioté leaves behind three children